Penn State Coach James Franklin talks about the loss to Pitt, looks ahead to the game this Saturday vs. Temple at home. Nittany Lions need to do a better job tackling.


PITT Press Release-Pitt senior cornerback Ryan Lewis, whose clutch interception sealed the Panthers’ 42-39 victory over rival Penn State, has been named the Jim Thorpe Player of the Week.

The recognition comes from the prestigious Jim Thorpe Award, which is annually presented in December to the nation’s top defensive back.

Lewis (Seattle, Wash./Eastlake) joined a legendary list of Panthers who made unforgettable plays in the historic Penn State series. With the Nittany Lions threatening at the Pitt 31 with 1:15 to play, Lewis intercepted a pass by Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley in the end zone, ending the drive and sealing Pitt’s win.

In addition to his interception, Lewis compiled a career-high nine tackles, all solo. He leads the Panthers with 14 total stops on the season.

This is the second accolade Lewis received for his Penn State performance. On Monday he was named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week.

Lewis and the 2-0 Panthers travel to Oklahoma State (1-1) this Saturday for an ESPN nationally televised game at 3:30 p.m.

Established in 1986, the Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the nation’s best defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Thorpe is considered the greatest all-around athlete in history. On the football field, he excelled as a running back, passer, kicker and defensive back. Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The 2016 Thorpe Award Winner will be selected from three finalists. The winner will be announced on Dec. 8 on ESPN’s telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards.

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